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Vikings face quarterback shortage due to COVID-19 protocols, sign Case Cookus as last minute addition

Kirk Cousins, Kellen Mond, and Nate Stanley were placed on the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced Monday.
Credit: AP
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

EAGAN, Minn. — In an announcement released Monday, the Minnesota Vikings have placed three quarterbacks — Kirk Cousins, Nate Stanley and rookie Kellen Mond — in addition to wide receiver Myron Mitchell, on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. According to ESPN, Kellen Mond had tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday and as a result, both Cousins and Stanley had to miss that day's practice as potential high-risk close contacts.

The move places the Vikings in a bind with former Washington Huskies quarterback Jake Browning as the only QB on the roster available for practice. Browning had signed on with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and was on the practice squad for the past two seasons. 

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero is also reporting that the Vikings plan to sign Case Cookus to the roster following a series of tryouts. Cookus was undrafted out of Northern Arizona in 2020 and spent some time with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos.

RELATED: 'If I die, I die' Vikings QB Kirk Cousins weighs in on masks and COVID-19

The Vikings also claimed Danny Etling off waivers from Seattle. Etling was originally a seventh-round pick out of LSU by New England in 2018.

When asked about unvaccinated players with his team on Monday, Head Coach Mike Zimmer continued to express his disappointment. 

"Some of them just won't do it," said Zimmer. "Some of the things they read are out there. It's their belief, so whatever they've heard or read or been told. Maybe they don't believe what [NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills] told them either." 

Frustration from the starting quarterback missing practice due to NFL virus protocol is prompting Zimmer to ponder the possibility of this becoming a regular season problem or rift, with Kirk Cousins sidelined for a third straight day from team activity.

“Maybe if some leaders miss games because of it and we end up losing games because of it, that might. Guys that are leaders of your team and they don’t play and you lose the game, that might. Hopefully we don’t have to find that out,” Zimmer said.

Cousins ruffled some feathers last year when he was quoted as saying "If I die, I die," when asked about wearing a mask to fend off COVID-19. He later apologized for the comment.